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Afghan officer, 20 insurgents dead

Unrest, Conflicts and War

(CNN) -- Fighting between attackers and Afghan and U.S. forces has resulted in the deaths of an Afghan police officer and as many as 20 insurgents.

The U.S.-led military coalition, in a statement issued Wednesday, said the casualties occurred in an "unprovoked attack" by about 25 insurgents in southeastern Afghanistan near Deh Chopan in Zabul province on Tuesday.

Along with the police officer's death, the military said "initial reports indicate approximately 20 insurgents were killed." Six U.S. service members, five Afghan National Police officers and an insurgent were wounded.

Forces detained and questioned six suspected insurgents. A village leader had been detained after other villagers said he was a member of the Taliban.

The statement said the attack took place after an Afghan man complained to police that he was beaten up. The man took police and U.S. forces to the spot where he was accosted and the forces "came under small-arms fire."

"Afghan National Army forces and U.S. soldiers operating in the area quickly moved to the site and cordoned off the insurgent forces by use of small-arms fire and support from coalition fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft," the military statement said.

The wounded soldiers were taken to Kandahar Airfield for medical treatment. Two wounded U.S. soldiers returned to duty and the other four were to be transported to Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany for further treatment.

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